Macquarie eyes first closes on China, European infra funds

Shemara Wikramanayake, head of Macquarie Funds Group, also disclosed in an investor presentation that Macquarie has collected A$2bn in new commitments for its infrastructure and real assets funds since 1 October, when it merged the funds with the Macquarie Funds Group.

Macquarie Funds Group, the asset management arm of Sydney-based Macquarie Group, is looking to hold first closes on two marquee infrastructure fundraises this year, a senior executive said Monday.

Shemara Wikramanayake, head of the Macquarie Funds Group, said in an investor presentation that the Macquarie Everbright Greater China Infrastructure Fund and the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund IV are “key funds scheduled for first closes in 2011”.

The Macquarie Everbright fund was launched in August 2009 after Macquarie inked a joint venture with China Everbright, the state-backed financial conglomerate. Macquarie said at the time the joint venture would seek to raise $1.5 billion for the fund across two vehicles for Chinese and non-Chinese investors.

Macquarie and Everbright recently secured a $100 million commitment for the fund from the Korean Teachers Credit Union, Australian media reported.

The Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund is seeking to raise between €1.5 billion and €2 billion. It is the fourth in a family of funds Macquarie has raised since 2004, when it launched its first European infrastructure fund, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund I. That fund closed over-subscribed on €1.5 billion in June 2005 and was followed by two subsequent funds, launched in 2006 and 2008, which together raised another €5.8 billion.

Macquarie raised the first three European infrastructure funds under the umbrella of Macquarie Capital, its investment banking arm, which acted as their manager and advisor. But on 1 October, Macquarie moved all private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds out of the investment bank into an independent group called Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, which sits within a dedicated asset management division called Macquarie Funds Group.

Wikramanayake, the Macquarie Funds Group head, said Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets’ integration into the funds group “is resonating well with investors” and the firm is enjoying success raising capital.

Since 1 October – when the two groups were officially merged – A$2 billion (€1.5 billion; $2 billion) of new investor commitments have poured into Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets group's funds, according to Wikramanayake’s presentation.